Braeburn apples are my favorite apples, but even with high tech, controlled atmosphere storage, their season is relatively brief so I eat a lot of them and make sauce out of a lot of them and dry a lot of them. (Have I mentioned that I like Braeburns?) But what I like to do best of all is bake them. Hot from the oven, a great dessert, especially with a bit of sweetened cream. But when you consider the ingredients, it’s clear that this is a dish best served at breakfast.
- 2 1/2 ounces of rolled oats (Not instant…no sir)
- 4 ounces all purpose flour
- 5 ounces light brown sugar (packed)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter (diced)
- 4 Braeburn apples (Fuji will due in a pinch)
- Honey (Tupelo would be my choice)
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl along with the diced butter. Rub the mixture briskly between your finger tips until a loose sandy mixture forms with occasional moist clumps. Refrigerate this mixture while preparing the apples to keep the butter firm. (see note)
- Cut a small layer off the bottom of each apple to create a flat, stable bottom surface. With a paring knife, cut a cylindrical cone out of the top of the apple, moving about 1-inch outside of the core, similar to removing the top of a pumpkin when carving a Jack O’Lantern. Remove the top and discard.
- Using a melon baller or a teaspoon, remove the remaining core and seeds, taking care not to puncture the base of the apple.
- Place apples on a baking sheet or pie dish and fill, almost to the top, each center with honey. Spoon in mixture till full, then pack it down lightly. Add additional mixture until heaped and overflowing over sides of the apples.
- Bake on the top or middle rack of a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until the oat filling is golden brown. To check if apples are done, take tongs and squeeze the apples gently. If they give, they are done. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
This mixture is called a streusel and it’s one of the most powerful multitaskers in the dessert universe and can be baked onto or on top of just about anything. I always make extra and freeze it in an old yogurt container so that I always have it on hand…until I use it up.